Governor Gianforte Prohibits Use of TikTok for State Business, on State Equipment

Governor's Office
  • December 16 2022

HELENA, Mont. – Governor Greg Gianforte today prohibited the use of TikTok on state equipment and for state business in Montana.

In a memo to Chief Information Officer Kevin Gilbertson and executive agency directors, the governor cited TikTok’s practice of harvesting expansive amounts of data from its users’ devices and offering this information to the Chinese Communist Party.

“Government’s chief responsibility is keeping its citizens safe and secure,” Governor Gianforte wrote. “Use of TikTok on state devices poses a significant risk to the security of our state and Montanans’ sensitive data.”

The governor continued, “Given these grave security concerns, effective immediately, no executive agency, board, commission, or other executive branch entity, official, or employee of the State of Montana shall download or access TikTok on government-issued devices or while connected to the state network.”

“This TikTok ban extends to all state-issued cell phones, laptops, tablets, desktop computers, and other devices capable of internet connectivity, and I direct you to take all necessary steps to block TikTok from being accessed,” the governor continued.

The memo also prohibits any third-party firms conducting business for or on behalf of the State of Montana from using TikTok.

Recently, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation raised “national security concerns” about TikTok operations, warning the app is controlled by “a government that doesn’t share our values, and that has a mission that’s very much at odds with what’s in the best interests of the United States.”

The governor concluded, “Together, we will defend the State of Montana against all who pose a threat to our security and way of life.”

After issuing the memo to his chief information officer and state agency directors today, the governor added, “While we take this action as a state today, I also encourage Montanans to protect their personal data and stop using TikTok.”

Governor Gianforte joins other Republican governors who have recently prohibited the use of TikTok on state devices.

The governor’s full memo can be found here.